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What's Next after 'The Dark Knight Rises'?

You've seen the movie by now. What should happen after this film? (Spoilers).

It sounds like pretty much everyone loved The Dark Knight Rises. As the final act in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, it had a definitive ending and many felt it was what the franchise deserved. But obviously this isn't the actual end of the franchise. Batman will rise once again. The question is, what happens after this film?

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The story is over and Nolan has stated he is finished with the franchise. Here's some quick thoughts where the franchise could go.

There will be spoilers so hopefully you've done your duty as a Bat-fan and have already seen it at least once.

== TEASER ==

Catwoman Spin-off

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Many felt Anne Hathaway was a poor choice to be cast as Catwoman (or we should say Selina Kyle). Her performance and the way Selina was written worked better everyone expected. She carried herself perfectly and showed she was more than capable of kicking ass alongside Batman.

Christopher Nolan was impressed with Hathaway's performance and mentioned the following to Access Hollywood.

Anne is incredibly precise and articulate about the psychology of the character. She’s really built it from the ground up, it’s just a delight to watch her perform. [Selina's] She’s an incredible character and we’re very excited to see her and hopefully we’ll leave people wanting more.

What are the chances of this? Not too likely it seems.

Hathaway did tell Digital Spy that should would love to do one if Nolan was involved. Since Nolan said he's finished with Batman, his involvement wouldn't be likely. Also, do people still have a bad taste in their mouths from the last Catwoman movie?

John Blake/Batman/Robin Spin-off

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Joseph Gordon Levitt was one of my favorite parts of the movie. He provided the inspiration that Bruce needed to bring himself back to his destiny. With his knowledge of Batman's identity, the name Robin thrown about and the way the movie ended, Blake draws some inspiration from Tim Drake. A movie could pick up after the events of this movie featuring his continuation over the protection of Gotham City.

One of the points that was odd was the fact that in those eight years that Batman was in retirement, no other major villain stepped up to try to claim Gotham for themselves. Despite Batman's sacrifice, you would think someone would try to claim the city believing that he was, in fact, dead.

Would this work? Again, without Nolan, it'd be hard to accept. Blake was a great character but the thought of someone else stepping into this version of Gotham to direct would be difficult.

Start All Over Again

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Unfortunately it seems that rebooting the franchise is the only thing to do. I've mentioned several times that I would like comic book movies to take the James Bond route and simply recast the character rather than restart and retell the origin.

More likely the next time we'll see Batman on the big screen is if and when the Justice League live-action movie is released. Even though this last film showed that Batman could partner with others (Blake and Kyle), having other costumed superheroes just wouldn't work. We'll have to see a new and different Batman, in a different movie universe, to see him interact with Superman, Wonder Woman and others.

This seems the most likely and most obvious but it's for the best. Trying to return to the world Nolan created without his involvement could end up tarnishing the other movies. Plus a Batman movie without Bruce Wayne would be weird, even if it came out totally cool.

What do you think could work or would be best for the Batman franchise?

Tony Guerrero is the Editor-in-Chief of Comic Vine. You can follow him on Twitter @GManFromHeck. He's not a huge fan of seeing comic book origins retold ever ten years in movies.